Jon Michael Galindo

~ writing, programming, art ~

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27 August 2015

Olive Branch

"Olive Branch" is certainly not my usual style of writing.

Sarah is a social worker invited to an alien world at the behest of a school teacher. She represents Earth's first real interaction with this particular race, and I dabbled in some political drama to set up her invitation.

I did not use my typical sci-fi universe, as the story depends upon inter-species interaction. (Although technically inhuman, the aliens featured here differ only in technology and society, not appearance.)

She finds the world quite unlike her expectations; and, because of the character-centric writing, the technology reads far more like fantasy than science fiction.

As this story represents a character experiment, it does not summarize well. Suffice it to say that, by the end, Sarah kidnaps a young boy and starts a war between Earth and this alien race.

The emotions with which I experimented here question the meaning of sanity. If society differs from a person's inner moral code, should they justify extremism? Thus, it renders certain criminally insane minds relatable.

By any reasonable definition, Sarah is not insane. However, thrust into a society whose fundamental morality conflicts ever so slightly with her own, she becomes a criminal.

What should she have done? Abandoned the child to what she considered abuse?

Or, to ask the real question, what should a legally insane human do? Should they obey the law and violate their own conscience, or should they do what they believe to be right, regardless of the consequences? Realizing, of course, that the former justifies every tyrannical law.

In other words, what rightly ought to hold supreme sway over human action: government or conscience? If, as I did, you answered conscience, a greater question looms; but, I leave that pondering to the reader. "Olive Branch" strives to answer this question of government and conscience.

© Jon Michael Galindo 2015